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Gustav F. Oehler

German theologian

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Gustav Friedrich Oehler was born at Ebingen, Wurttemberg and was educated privately and at Tubingen where he was much influenced by J.C.F.Steudel, professor of Old Testament theology. In 1837, after a term of Oriental study at Berlin, he went to Tubingen as Repelent, becoming in 1840 professor at the seminary and pastor in Schonthal.

In 1845 he published his Prolegomena zur Theologie des Alten Testaments, accepted an invitation to Breslau and received the degree of doctor from Bonn. In 1852 he returned to Tübingen as director of the seminary and professor of Old Testament Theology at the university. He declined a call to Erlangen as successor to Franz Delitzsch, and died at Tubingen in 1872.

Oehler admitted the composite authorship of the Pentateuch and the Book of Isaian, and did much to counteract the antipathy against the Old Testament that had been fostered by Schliermacher. In church polity he was Lutheran rather than Reformed. Besides his Old Testament Theology (Eng. trans., 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1874-1875), his works were Gesammelte Seminarreden (1872) and Lehrbuch Symbolik (1876), both published posthumously, and about forty articles for the first edition of Herzog's Realencyklopadie.


Works by Gustav F. Oehler

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Gustav Oehler's impressive study of the Old Testament is rich with historical and theological substance. Part I focuses on the history of the revelation in the Old Testament from the perspective of the Biblical people. Oehler explores the many factors that influenced Divine Revelation and prophecy in the Old Testament. Oehler concludes this section with two doctrines. The first is the Doctrine of God, in which he surveys the names and personalities of God revealed in the Old Testament. The second is the Doctrine of Humankind, which discusses human nature, human purpose, and human relation to sin. In Part II, Oehler writes about the Old Testament prophets and the essential elements of prophecy. Finally, Oehler concludes with Part III, a shorter section in which he explores wisdom and morality as it is portrayed in the Old Testament. Oehler's critical and exegetical analysis is filled with valuable information.

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